In the world of comedy, specifically lesbian comedy, Cameron Esposito is the new reigning queen. This is especially true now that Lea DeLaria wants to be a serious actress and singer. Esposito, whose delivery sounds like a cross between Tig Notaro and Paula Poundstone, and her trademark asymmetrical haircut, has them rolling in the aisles on her new stand-up comedy special Marriage Material, debuting March 24 on the new NBC comedy channel Seeso. Filmed in front of a live and enthusiastic hometown audience at Chicago’s Thalia Hall mere days before her wedding to fellow comic Rhea Butcher, Esposito skillfully demonstrated why she’s an in-demand performer. I spoke with Cameron about the special and her career in February 2016.
Fanny Brice wasn’t the only funny lady who could carry a tune. Margaret Cho did a good job of establishing herself as a singer and songwriting collaborator on her 2010 debut music album Cho Dependent. One of the busiest women in show business, between her stand-up comedy shows, Showtime specials, co-hosting duties on Fashion Police and her activism for queer, women’s and animal rights and causes, Cho has found the time to write and record her follow-up album American Myth (Clownery Records). Due out on April 29, Cho recorded the album with her band The Dog Children, and co-wrote most of the songs with out singer/songwriter Garrison Starr. She describes it as “a glamorous and glittering tribute to family, comedy, anger, fame, gayness, grief, fat pride, love and hate.” I spoke with Margaret about the album and more in early 2016.
Seasoned improv artist and stand-up comic Poppy Champlin has been bringing her “Queer Queens of Qomedy” on the road for almost a decade and a half. Participants have included Karen Williams, Carol Leifer, Jennie McNulty, Mimi Gonzalez, and Vickie Shaw. Second City veteran Poppy has been featured on Logo, Showtime, VH1 and Lifetime. She was a writer on Fox Family’s “Show Me the Funny” and named “America’s Funniest Woman” on “The Joan Rivers Show.” Next month, this eclectic week and a half-long event to Baltimore’s very own Magooby’s Joke House in Timonium. She currently teaches a master class in comedy at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in her home state of Rhode Island. Poppy was nice enough to take a moment out of her busy day to share a few laughs with Baltimore OUTLoud.
Gay filmmaker Andrew Haigh (Weekend, HBO’s Looking) goes straight, so to speak, with his film 45 Years (Sundance Select / IFC Films), based on the short story by David Constantine. Over the course of the week prior to Kate (Charlotte Rampling, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance) and Jeff’s (Tom Courtenay) 45th anniversary party, the couple’s marriage is potentially jeopardized following the arrival of a letter.
The Narrow Door (Graywolf, 2016), Paul Lisicky’s new memoir, is an intimate and emotionally charged portrait of loss. Writing about the death of friend and writer Denise Gess and the end of his relationship with his partner the writer Mark Doty, Lisicky opens a personal door for readers to pass through and share in his life-altering experiences. Moving back and forth in time, while incorporating his commentary on singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, Lisicky also makes it clear that he is a survivor; one who will live to love and write about life again. I spoke with Lisicky shortly before the publication of The Narrow Door.
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